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Colorado beats Arizona State in the final minute for Deion Sanders’ first Pac-12 win


Alejandro Mata kicked a 43-yard field goal with 12 seconds remaining, Shedeur Sanders scored two touchdowns and Colorado ended an eight-game Pac-12 losing streak with a 27-24 win over Arizona State Saturday.

Arizona State (1-5, 0-3 Pac-12) worked offensively much of the afternoon without three starting offensive linemen and two key replacements due to injuries.

The Sun Devils found the right equipment at the right time, driving 94 yards in 13 plays to set up Trenton Bourguet’s 15-yard touchdown pass to Troy Omeire with 50 seconds remaining.

Sanders responded quickly, hitting Javon Antonio for a total of 43 yards on the next play. The Buffaloes (4-2, 1-2 Pac-12) got close enough to kick Mata’s game-winning kick despite struggling to get their explosive offense going for most of the game.

The Sun Devils sacked Sanders five times and gave Colorado’s quarterback little time to find receivers down the field. Sanders, the nation’s second-ranked passer with 356 yards per game, was held to 239 yards on 26-of-42 passing.

The coach’s son was again effective when he needed to be, running for a touchdown in the first half and hitting Antonio for a 9-yard score in the fourth quarter.

Bourguet threw for 335 yards and a touchdown on 32-of-49 passing, but was under almost constant pressure. Arizona State lost its seventh straight game against the Pac-12 and is 1-5 for the first time since 1942.

The defense controlled most of the first half in the desert until a late flurry.

The Sun Devils drove their way down the field on their first drive with crossing routes underneath to reach the Colorado 2. Arizona State ran an odd formation near the goal line, spreading out all of its linemen except center Leif Fautanu and Bourguet followed him during a 2-yard TD run.

Arizona State’s offense remained calm until the end of the first half, putting together a drive to set up Cam Skattebo’s 1-yard run with 6 1/2 minutes left.

Colorado had a similar half.

Xavier Weaver scored on a fourth-and-1 to tie it at 7, but the Buffaloes struggled to stop Arizona State’s run against Sanders until the end of the half. Colorado pieced together a scoring drive and Sanders rushed for a 16-yard score shortly after Skattebo’s touchdown.

Arizona State quickly got into position for Dario Longhetto’s 33-yard field goal to lead 17-14 at halftime.

The Buffaloes’ defense was solid all game and Sanders was good when he needed to be, leading Colorado to its first Pac-12 win since beating Cal in overtime a year ago.

The Sun Devils defense kept Sanders in check for most of the game, but gave up the big play that set up the game-winning kick. Arizona State’s offense was good at times, but not good enough to outlast the Buffaloes.

Associated Press reporting.

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